Three days in Bangkok is definitely not enough. Add in some serious jet-lag after a flight from Toronto (Canada) to Abu Dhabi (UAE), then onward to Bangkok.
Wow – Bangkok is absolutely amazing. We only saw a tiny part of the City, and what we saw is so diverse and sensory stimulating; sight, smell, taste, sounds and touch.
The tiny part of Bangkok that we experienced was the Pranakorn district, and we explored Khao san Road and the cultural sites in the Rattanakosin area including The Grand Palace, The Temple of The Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho), The Royal Ground, The Democracy Monument and the Chatuchak Weekend Market.
The next post will have photos from Wat Pho, ‘Temple of the Reclining Buddha’.
All photos taken with a Fuji X-series X-Pro1 with Fuji 18-35mm, or Fuji X-series X-E1 with Fuji 14mm lens. Some of the photos are in black & white, and some are in color, with notes below.
The Wat Pho or “Temple of the Reclining Buddha” is the largest and oldest wat (temple) complex in Bangkok, and it houses more than 1,000 Buddha images that were moved from abandoned temples in Ayutthaya and Sukhothai by order of King Rama I. Wat Pho, officially named Wat Phra Chetuphon Wimonmangkhalaram is one of the six temples in Thailand that are of the highest grade of the first class Royal temples.
The temple is renowned for the enormous gold plated Reclining Buddha image that was built during the reign of King Rama III (1824 – 51) and represents the passing of the Buddha into final Nirvana after death. The Reclining Buddha, is 46 meters long and 15 meters high and is the largest Buddha image in Thailand. Constructed out of plaster around a brick core, the reclining Buddha is decorated with gold leaf and his eyes and foot soles are inlaid with mother-of-pearl.
The Buddha’s feet are 5 metres long and are divided into 108 arranged panels, each exquisitely decorated in mother-of-pearl illustrations of symbols by which Buddha can be identified like flowers, dancers, white elephants, tigers and altar accessories.
There are 108 bronze bowls in the corridor indicating the 108 auspicious characters of Buddha. Visitors drop coins in to each of these bowls in belief that this will bring good fortune, and to help the monks maintain the wat. The sound of these falling coins is quite distinctive and can be heard throughout the temple.
Now – on to the photos.
Yes, All the photos are in black & white. Why ?
1) The color versions of the photos do not show the stark beauty of the gold plated Reclining Buddha image or the intricate paintings on the walls. You simply have to go there yourself, and don’t simply look at on-line photos. In black and white – you have to use your imagination.
2) The photo are also in black and white because there were so many jack-asses inside the temple, photographing the Buddha using the flash on their cameras. Flash-Flash-Flash…..and more Flash, Flash, Flash…..on and on. This is really disturbing – and for me really the flash really destroys the moment of appreciating the Reclining Buddha. How can appreciate the beauty, when the other tourists beside are taking a bunch of photos, and each time the flash reflects off the golden Buddha and blinds you !.
So – end of my Rant. Other tourists, don’t be a jack-ass, and try to be considerate of others !.
So – We are on a long trip and like everyone else, there is the debate on what to bring – and what to leave behind. Some folks say – “If it doesn’t have more than one use – leave it behind”. For most of our stuff, it is easy to decide – leave it behind. It seemed so easy, until it got down and dirty, real dirty.
My beloved Nikon D700 is the latest item to hit the leave it behind pile.
Of all the things I can leave behind – why my favorite camera ?. Simply, it is too heavy.
Heavy, yes too heavy. Add on a couple of lenses (17-35mm, 70-200mm), and it all adds up to a heavy lead.
Heavy, and also hard to keep safe. At least my neck strap doesn’t say Canon 5D Mark iii, or 6D on it – letting every thief (or robber) within 100 yards that you got the goods.
So…My Nikon and all the extra lenses are now being shipped home, in water proof boxes, to wait until I get back from travelling in another 10 months.
I’ll miss you ol’Nikon. We’ve been good friends these past few years.